During the 2014 Enterprise Mobility Exchange, Europe, the future of the mobile workforce was examined by participants from around the world. Executives from IBM and Google offered statistics that illuminate the need for heightened mobility in business, saying that as more “mobile natives” (children who have grown up familiar with Internet technology) emerge in the workplace, the need for businesses to have BYOD (bring your own device) strategies will only strengthen.
Indeed, as businesses increase their dependency on critical-mission applications, and mobile devices—including wearables—become the preferred tool of choice for many employees, finding ways to incorporate mobile solutions into your organisation can be a challenge. While mobility offers cost-savings, improved efficiency, and increased productivity for any business, the security risks created by accessing sensitive information across unsecured channels (and on personally owned devices) is considerable.
Office managers and CIOs need applicable strategies to help make the transition. This 3-step guide offers key information for getting your mobile business safely off the ground and up in the cloud, where it can soar to new heights.
1. Seek Professional Guidance
Before building any mobility strategy, it’s important to seek professional assistance. You are the best at what you do and understand your business better than anyone, but when considering mobile solutions, although you may know what you need, knowing how to get there can be confusing. Your network service provider has the answers. Be prepared to discuss:
– The number of users and organisation hierarchy. Specific access levels will need to be determined. For instance, an entry level salesperson would have no need to access sensitive financial information.
– Types of mobile devices that will need to be managed—either company issued or BYOD (bring your own device)
– Current user safeguards (passwords, encryption, etc.)
This type of information will help your provider grasp your current capabilities, and help guide your mobility strategy.
2. Build an Actionable Mobile Strategy
During this step, your provider can present mobility options for your business. The policy should basically cover two key essentials:
– Supporting multiple device platforms in a single dashboard securely (such as a hosted desktop)
– Incorporate business owned and personal devices
Depending on your specific needs, some solutions like Office365 or Skype for Business offer secure platforms for mobile solutions. However, you may need to introduce a more comprehensive solution through MDM (mobile device management) software. Enterprise Mobile Suite, HP, and other developers offer effective software that can mitigate security risks.
Plan your solution with these best practises:
– Ensure that data integration is able to occur between laptops, desktops, tablets, smartphones, and any other device.
– Make a device inventory, personal and corporate—this will give you an idea about future resource needs
– Make sure that inventories and reporting tools are consolidated as well
3. Final Considerations
Now that you and your network provider have created your company’s mobility plan, you should consider a few other things before deployment. Since over 25% of companies worldwide see BYOD security a major challenge to their mobility (Cisco), these considerations mainly deal with that issue.
Cost Management for Network Usage—Businesses who conduct operations in a multinational setting should be able to monitor and limit data roaming charges.
Application Management—certain applications should be restricted to approved devices
Backup and Recovery Service—make sure that your provider’s solution includes this for user segments that contain critical and unique data.
Data Transfer Restrictions—preventing downloads on certain attachments or copying sensitive information can help prevent liabilities when an employee leaves the company.
Intrusion Prevention—includes establishing appropriate fire-walls, anti-virus, and other malware protections.
Transitioning into greater mobility may seem daunting at first, but by taking advantage of the professional advice and experience of a cloud network provider, you mobile business solution will soar.